UN Human Rights Council 45: statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Rita French

Thank you, Madam President,

Thank you, High Commissioner for your update. The systemic discrimination facing the Rohingya in Myanmar prevents them from living safe and dignified lives.

The UK is deeply concerned by the restrictions Rohingya face in accessing healthcare. To combat the growing COVID-19 outbreak in Rakhine effectively, every person needs to be able to access medical facilities, treatment, and Covid-19 testing, regardless of documentation status, religion, nationality or race.

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The majority of Rohingya cannot access township hospitals where treatment for Covid-19 takes place. Instead, they often seek treatment in Station hospitals or clinics, however many of those are now closing. We urge Myanmar to allow mobile clinics so Rohingya can safely access medical services for any urgent condition.

It is essential that camp based staff and volunteers have permission to continue life-saving activities. We encourage Myanmar to restore international humanitarian agencies’ access on completion of quarantine, including in conflict affected areas.

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The UK also calls on the Government of Myanmar to restore 3G/4G internet services to all of Rakhine and Chin, allowing populations access to lifesaving information including on transmission prevention.

High Commissioner,

What steps should Myanmar take to ensure the Rohingya have equitable access to healthcare during this global pandemic?

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